Monday, November 24, 2008

dear mother

This is my letter to a young mother as part of the Mother Letter Project. Please read my previous post for more information.

Dear Mother,

I am a mother who recently became a mother living in a house void of children. My youngest left for college and I found myself unsure of what my mothering role would now look like. It is different, but I have been reassured that I am still a mother. Once a mother, always a mother. It is just a different phase of motherhood.

This has caused me to reflect on the past 20 years and take note of the different phases of motherhood. There are a few. Just as our children go through phases, so do we. I think if we, as mothers, are aware of this, it gives us permission to grow and transform ourselves right along with our children.

We also need to give ourselves permission to not be perfect, to fail at times, to be human. Not only do we personally need that grace, but our children need to see that we make mistakes and that we can learn from our mistakes. Our children learn so much from us, as parents, and so much of it is from who we are as people, how we treat others, and how we conduct ourselves.

When I think back on the different phases my kids and I have gone through, there are two constants that shine brightly. The first, when I made my children and our family a priority, everything else fell into place appropriately. If I kept my agenda focused on them, it was easier to know what was truly important and what was not. Motherhood is constantly being selfless, but the benefits and blessings are infinite.

The other thing that I feel is very important is making sure you nurture yourself in small (or big) ways on a regular basis. It's important not to lose yourself and/or get to a place where you feel so overwhelmed that you can't be an effective and loving parent. Give yourself a break every once in a while. Find a way to tell yourself that you are more than just a mother. Find a way to find the joy in life and in being a mom. By doing this, you become a better mother.

Before you know it, your kids will be grown and will leave your home. Enjoy each and every stage you encounter while you're with them. There will be heartache, and there will be immeasurable joy. Love them unconditionally, and the love flows back to you. And know that your job as mother is the most important thing you'll ever do.



Penless Thoughts said...

I knew you would write one great letter....and you did!!!

Jen - Queen of Poo said...

Great letter! There was a time in my life when I had to make the decision that my kids needed me full time and quit my job. It was scary because we depended on that money, but not as much as my kids depend on their mother. I've never regretted that decision.

Danielle! said...

You are a mother? What?!?! =O

Maxine said...

This is a wonderful letter, Diana. And written with much heart. This sounds like a really nice project. May the Lord use it.

Christine said...

That is a beautiful letter. I think it is perfect as is.

MightyMom said...

fabulous letter!!

I didn't write mine cuz it'd be quite short and simple. Wanna hear?

On Motherhood, from Mightymom:

Motherhood is a wild ride, once it starts, it never stops. There are many seasons to pass through and when each is finished you can't return so enjoy each season to the fullest, as they're all FUN. Laugh loudly every day, even if you have to search for something funny. And hug your kids more than they want to let you hug em. Above all, daily, remember to cherish the precious gift that you've been given in each child.

Jamey said...

Very cool letter. I think I will do this too. I learned a lot from your letter as usual!

Mother Letter said...

Truly fantastic letter.

Thanks for helping me out.